Audi is giving its A4 and A6 models an end date as combustion engines. The same is said to apply to the A8. Even in plug-in hybrids Audi apparently no longer wants to invest heavily. These decisions are likely to be the cornerstones of the exit plan from the internal combustion engine drawn up under Audi CEO Markus Duesmann.
These steps are mentioned in a portrait of Duesmann, who has been at the helm of the VW subsidiary in Ingolstadt for three quarters of a year, in the German publication Manager Magazin. Specifically, it says that new versions of the A4 and A6 will be launched again from 2023 and electric variants will follow a little later, but that Audi does not even want to offer the mid-range models as internal combustion engines until the end of their life. Ergo, the end will be before 2030.
As for the A8, it is said that it will be refreshed again at the end of 2021. That is supposed to be the last measure. Audi also apparently no longer wants to rely on plug-in hybrids. Manager Magazin reports that Duesmann considers them to be discontinued models and indirectly quotes him as saying that politics will no longer promote the technology after the federal elections in autumn 2021 at the latest, and that customers will then lose interest. Almost a fortnight ago, the Audi boss had already told another German business paper Wirtschaftswoche that he was currently working on a concrete timetable for phasing out the internal combustion engine “in the next 10, maybe 15 years”.
Instead of internal combustion engines, pure electric cars are moving into focus in Ingolstadt. Duesmann has underlined this with the electric showcase project Artemis, which was set up shortly after he took office. According to a report published by Automobilwoche at the beginning of the year, the study for the first Audi model under Artemis is to be presented at the IAA this autumn. The start of series production is planned for the end of 2024. Duesmann recently said that the model will be neither a large sedan above the A8 nor a large SUV above the Q7: “It will be a new vehicle category that will be called neither A nor Q.” To date, Audi has entered the premium electric car market with its e-tron models.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
manager-magazin.de (in German, paywall)